Tauade - Settlements

The typical settlement pattern is one of scattered hamlets with an average population of forty-five and about fifteen houses (fewer today), often located on the crests of ridges near the forest line. The houses, arranged in two parallel rows, accommodate the women and children, while married men and bachelors occupy the men's house at the head of the two rows. In modern times, men's houses have mostly fallen into disuse. In precolonial days, each hamlet was surrounded by a stockade. The space between the houses is used for feasts and dances. The houses are often protected by windbreaks of Cordyline terminalis. Hamlets are only occupied for a few years in succession, though the sites themselves are often reoccupied periodically for a long time. Large villages with seventy or more houses are built for ceremonial purposes, but they are only occupied for a few months.

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